Best Ski Resorts: Alyeska Resort, Alaska

Ideal for powder.

    Photo: Courtesy of Alyeska Resort

ANNUAL SNOWFALL: 735 INCHES
THE EXPERT: ELYSE SAUGSTAD, 31, 2008 FREERIDE WORLD TOUR WINNER
In the States, people consider it a powder day when there are six inches of snow. At Alyeska it's not a powder day unless there's more than a foot. The snow can be heavier, but it sticks to the steeper peaks, enabling you to ski gnarly lines. And it's not crowded at all—mostly Alaskan diehards. Take the tram, then ski down to lift 6, which accesses the good stuff. Ride that up to the top and hike straight up to the Christmas and New Year's chutes. You can ski 2,500 vertical in one run. HOT TIP Alyeska has the best night skiing; they light up the main runs and you can ski until nine o'clock. I went in mid-December last year; they'd already gotten 250 inches of snow. The resorts in the lower 48 were barely open. Amazing.

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